Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

263 “What’s next?”

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 263

February 19, 2019

“What’s next?”

Sometimes I imagine TV legend Rod Serling chuckling at current events. His inventive themes for “Twilight Zone” kept viewers glued to their television sets for the entire run of his show. Reruns continue to air the series for yet another generation. True to his plan, the last scene of every episode came as a surprise — and often — a shock.

Plots dreamed up by this television luminary were successful because, despite their plots, they came across as credible. Sadly, credibility is widely absent among our broadcast media today, in both entertainment and news genres. Coupled with patriotism, credibility stands as the sturdy backbone of a free nation. Trust is golden. Without it, a people operate in informational dark. Without trust, we are all at risk. With this in mind, you have reason to be fearful for the future.

Records show that several US presidents saw fit to deport illegals, but the public welcomed those actions. They were aimed at employing American workers and returning veterans— both sensible and necessary. What has changed is the pervasive attitude of the left today. They continue to work and curry favor among the uneducated, unskilled illegals they seek to admit without restriction. Why? The do it in order to build their voting base. To say that the majority of Americans are angry over this is to understate.

The silent majority is more than a moniker. It is true. Why silent? With the exception of a few networks, news reporters have morphed into news “makers.” Even if it didn’t happen, it COULD have. Sound familiar? I can’t begin to explain my consternation at the spread of this dark journalism. Once, journalism was the voice to disseminate factual information to all the people. Now, to the consternation of a large majority of the population, they push an agenda with little concern for the facts. Opinion rules.

I use the term “dark,” because it fits. Truth shines in the light of day. Lies cannot survive the spotlight of scrutiny. Light exposes disingenuousness. How would you categorize a media that is hell bent on destroying free speech? I see it as an outgrowth of a stilted educational system that engenders “purpose” in its students instead of encouraging inquiry and research. If you disagree with their point of view, you are in their crosshairs.

Textbook editors have corrupted any thought of honesty. Even World War I and World War II are given little space and biased commentary rules. Tell that to the families of American soldiers who gave their lives to fight evil. Several years ago I found a copy of a book of black and white photographs taken when the Allied troops liberated the Nazi concentration camps. I had looked for years and managed to find it in a small bookshop in Nottingham, England. Nothing retouched. Shocking? Yes, but true. Turning the pages, the reader sees up close and personal the unspeakable horror inflicted by people in power — heart stopping pictures of man’s inhumanity to man.

Germany’s Nazis were socialists. Russians were, and are, communists. Neither form of government respects human life. Stalin killed millions. The people never knew. They revered him. They respected him. They, like lies, were in the dark. Today, we have those on the left slinging the name “Nazi” against our president. Nothing is further from the truth.

Now, thanks to liberal faculties of countless centers of higher (?) education across this nation, we witness a younger set that embraces the “free to everybody” spiel thrown out by those pushing socialism. Warning, they lie.

I really worry about this. The inculcation of this political view is not only dangerous, but it is also fatal to a free people. Ever wonder why the most important strides were made during hard times? People who made their way West didn’t worry about entertainment. The men and women who toiled to clear the land and till the soil sustain their families didn’t worry about what they were going to do on the weekend. They didn’t worry about free time; they worried about survival. World War I, the Depression and World War II produced a people who worked hard, went to church on Sunday (no children’s sports on Sunday), and respected the law. My parents’ generation….

Oh, we’ve always had criminals. However, I must comment that crime in days past earned an offender swift judgment and no “cushy” atmosphere in jails and prisons. But, we’ll leave that subject for another column….

The old Biblical quote that “of whom much is given much is expected” more than applied to those hardy folks who pushed this nation to greatness from the Revolutionary War to the landing on the moon. Americans have always been given the freedom to dream, to work, to succeed…. And dream, we did, work we did, and succeed we did.

Americans fight for the underdog. Now, to my disgust, I find that those of us who hold fast to the tenets of this nation that propelled us to the envy of the world are now in the crosshairs of a group who do nothing but whine and cry about the slightest affront. Good grief, people! Get a life! Don’t imperil mine! Don’t risk generations yet unborn.

Even unions are falling prey to a lax work ethic. Recently, we listened as a shop foreman recounted his disgust that the unions “hand out cards” to young workers with virtually no experience. Why they have abandoned the long-adopted practice of moving up through the ranks is beyond understanding. The time honored practice of working from apprentice to journeyman is melting away quicker than a Popsicle on the sidewalk in July.

Why? Why aren’t bosses demanding performance? If you can answer that, you will find yourself in demand in every factory imaginable from coast to coast. The old efficiency experts need to spawn into a new group: work ethic consultants.

If you think that you’ve seen it all when the likes of OAC and her ilk spout out garbage daily, if you think it cannot get any more bizarre than open borders policy, maybe you should remember words made famous by the first man in talking pictures. “You ain’t seen nothin’ yet!”

If those words don’t spur you to work toward the 2020 Presidential election, nothin’ will. Think about it.

262 “The Ice Cream Society”

Wednesday, January 30th, 2019

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 262 “The Ice Cream Society”

January 30, 2019

The title may seem an odd as you read it, but after finishing this column you will see the parallel that I draw.

Those of us who took that first job before our teen years know the value and pride that comes with hard work. In fact, if we go back two generations, it wasn’t at all unusual to see very young boys working full time. More often than not good parental role models and an eighth grade education prepared them to face life head on.

Points taken. Now let’s take a look at our youth today. To begin with, there are exceptions to this assessment, but the overall picture of the age group between 14 and 30 is enough to scare the wrap off a Sumo wrestler.

Reporters doing “on the street” questioning come face to face with young people who disrespect the older generation, who reject the tenet that work and savings achieve financial stability, and who openly admit a dangerous sense of entitlement for which many parents should be called to account.

There is worth in work. There is worth in working toward a goal. There is what our generation knows as patience. I fear that many of the younger generation will never experience the joy of saving for something. Often, the gain is less exciting than the quest. Sadly, these youngsters are more apt to simply buy on credit. Granted, a mortgage is not a frivolous purchase, but a caveat to that is “Do not buy something you cannot afford.”

A nest egg is not just for the birds. Emergencies happen. Having at least a month’s salary is critical for a household. Utilities, landlords and banks do not accept promises or excuses for payment.

A first job may be a step into a lifetime career or it may be a learning experience when another line of work beckons. To be sure, dependability and trustworthiness are the basic keys to success; but they are only building blocks to a worker’s ability and background. Initiative is icing on the cake.

Consider these quotes on work:

“There is no substitute for hard work.”

Thomas A. Edison

“I do not know anyone who has gotten to the top without hard work. That is the recipe. It will not always get you to the top, but it will get you pretty near.”

Margaret Thatcher

“When I was a young man I observed that nine out of ten things I did were failures. I didn’t want to be a failure, so I did ten times more work.”

George Bernard Shaw

“If I am anything, which I highly doubt, I have made myself so by hard work.”

Isaac Newton

“A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.”

Colin Powell

“No country can sustain, in idleness, more than a small percentage of its numbers. The great majority must labor at something productive.”

Abraham Lincoln

(The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, “Address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin” (September 30, 1859), p. 479.)

“If at any time all labour should cease, and all existing provisions be equally divided among the people, at the end of a single year there could scarcely be one human being left alive—all would have perished by want of subsistence.”
Abraham Lincoln
(His is a clear condemnation of socialism made in the 1800s!)
(The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume I, “Fragments of a Tariff Discussion” (December 1, 1847), p. 415.)

About twenty years ago I wrote a column on the impact of teaching economics to children in kindergarten. It holds even more today. Penny banks and basic rules of handling money cannot be delayed. Once learned, the tenets of saving and budgeting will be lifelong gifts — not wrapped with ribbons, but even more important.
You’ve probably been privy to situation similar to this. A parent is at the checkout and a child asks to buy something. The parent explains that the family cannot afford it. The child quips either, “You have your credit card,” or “There are still checks in the checkbook.” Children need to understand that family budgets are necessary and how to use money.
This surging phenomenon of wanting at the outset “everything Mom and Dad had after forty years” is downright frustrating for older folks. Yet, even more than that, the practice portends lots of problems. Living beyond one’s means is tenuous at best, perilous if unexpected hurdles surface — as they can.
Not only do they expect everything immediately, but they also buy into the greatest lie perpetrated on the American people: Socialism is good. No. It is not. One conversation with a Venezuelan might make an impact, but I doubt if that impact would be sufficient enough to dissuade them from the belief that capitalism is the enemy. Educators have engrained in the youngsters and have done it for decades. Textbooks do not teach that socialist countries die a slow and painful death.
Media and entertainment do little to extol the businessman. One reason is businesses that have become behemoths make it virtually impossible for small businesses to compete and survive. America was built on the foundation of small business. We are seeing it disappear. I’ve never understood why the government ignores anti-trust laws — laws passed to protect small business against monopolies.
With today’s technologies, these laws are needed more than ever. Yet, to the chagrin of many an American, they remain on the sidelines. I do not know enough about the donor base of the political parties to judge if the neglect to implement anti-trust laws equates to “You get what you pay for.” (Please forgive ending the sentence with a preposition. My fourth-grade teacher Hazel Ford would cringe!)
If that’s true, we are in far more trouble than I imagine. Unfortunately, money does talk. Even sadder, big money shouts. My grandparents’ generation often commented, “Money is the root of all evil.” In many cases, it is.
Getting back to ice cream…. Judging anything requires assessment.
If we compare the average 18-20-year-old of the 1940s and 1950s to the same age bracket today, the differences are glaring. I’m taking out of the comparison the driven, responsible, acceptant individuals. I am left with the young person who accepts the mantra of “political correctness” and the “safe zone” mentality widely preached by the liberal left.
Just how would they respond to a real threat? Not the unkind word or inarticulate phrase, but a real threat? Wow! That’s quite the question. I agree that some speech can really be divisive, but when in the history of the world has there not been such speech?
In the wake of Pearl Harbor 17-year-old-boys lied about their age and enlisted in the armed services. A similar situation happened after 9/11. Yet, since that time the mindset of many young people has dipped again into that anti-government, anti-United States mentality. And work should bring instant money. Work often equates to sitting behind a computer monitor. Too many of this age group look down on people who work with their hands as inferiors. This “uppity” attitude is endemic.
If you combine the antagonist view with the lack of patriotism, you have the recipe for disaster.
Back to Lincoln for a moment…. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
Concentrate on media that moves in lockstep with the left. Don’t assume that the liberal establishment and academia do not know what they are doing. They know. They have a goal. It is to divide and conquer. They control much of the news. What’s more, they are better than everyone else. At least they believe they are. The question is how did thinking adults allow this to creep in without opposition? I fear that entertainment has become too much of the life stream than civic responsibility.
Well, I refuse to throw in the towel. I do not agree to the comment that “what is done is done.” We few that see the danger may be the ants versus the rubber tree plants, but we need to start somewhere. We need to press our schools to teach the merits of capitalism and we need to begin early! We need to extol the value of hard work. We need to internalize within our students the need to excel and to choose a career that parallels and dovetails both ability and interest. Iron only becomes steel when heat and pressure hardens it. Early training can steel us to become strong people. Paired with faith, discipline and education are key.
Don’t sit in the kitchen or family room and complain to family or friends. Be an advocate for a better America. Go forth and press for personal responsibility in schools. With so many fractured families, schools need to fill the void. Morality is not a weakness. It is the greatest strength. Encourage your local school board and your state government for more civics, more accurate history, and more economics. Without it, America faces a bleak future. It faces a day when the socialists hold sway over voters. It faces a day when it mirrors Venezuela twenty years ago. Don’t assume it cannot happen. It can — if we allow it.
Do not let that happen. It will be a hard fight, given the fact that all the media outlets save a precious few push forward to praise those who run for election and promise “free stuff.” Nothing is ever free. Someone pays for it.
In short, we need to toughen these youngsters, spiritually as well as intellectually. Categorically, ice cream is either hard dip or soft serve. If applied to people, which would best defend and uphold this nation? I think you know the answer.
Think about it.

261 “Overload”

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

#261

January 21, 2019

“Overload”

I suppose you’ve heard the phrase “had it up to here.” Well, here is my latest take on that old adage.

Lest I irresponsibly be labeled an anti-feminist, let me lay the groundwork to refute such a statement. First of all, there is nothing feminine about the feminists today. Femininity is the essence of womanhood. Femininity is graciousness, kindliness, gentility, and grace. Nothing about the current movement exudes any such characteristics. In fact, the feminist movement today is the polar opposite.

With few exceptions, those who espouse this movement are belligerent, “pushy,” and lack civility. This group not only annoys me as a woman, it insults the very crux of society. What better way to destroy a nation than to fracture and destroy its most critical element, the family?

I fear that two other old adages are all but nonexistent today. “Behind every successful man is a good woman.” “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world.” Yes, there were inequities. Yes, there were hard times for widows when they were left to fend for their households.

What is wrong with a woman supporting her husband and helping him in his quest for success? What’s wrong with the image of a nurturing mother rocking a baby in a cradle? Even if they do reflect a former age, there is an element of truth in both.

To me, what we see today actually began in earnest during World War II when women worked in the war plants, ferried planes from the manufacturers to U.S. Army Air Corps bases both in the US and abroad, served in the military as nurses and garnered praise as support personnel. Queen Elizabeth II was a mechanic during the war. A scene featured in the film “The Queen” starring Dame Helen Mirren integrated Her Majesty’s war service into the drama surrounding the death of Princess Diana in 1997.

With all that in mind, there needs to be a resurgence of respect for women who find value in the home. It is a finite balance to juggle a job and the home, but many married women have done just that for years. They have reared responsible children who grew up to contribute mightily to our nation.

For centuries, in good time and bad, the American family consisted of father, mother, and progeny. Today, the number of single mother households is hard to fathom. Yes, there are single father households, but most of those are the result of a divorce or the death of the wife.

The feminists who participate in every kind of demonstration available are poor examples of the character of American women as a whole. The negative tone aimed at men should concern everyone. I guess they missed out on another old saying. “You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”

I am so weary of advertising that excludes men. Are there women who apply for loans… buy homes… plan for retirement? Sure there are, but there are also homes where a couple plans their future together. They work together, play together, suffer together, worship together and cling to one another. Truly strong husbands and wives respect and support one another. You won’t need to look far to find them either.

Surely partnership tops the dismal, disrespectful picture played out in commercials today. Nothing threatens the family unit more than unmarried couples. Oh, there are instances were senior citizens must cohabit or else lose their retirement benefits. My, this is a poor way for a government to reward folks who pay taxes over a lifetime!

What kind of example do the unmarried couples set for their children? In fact what they do is legitimate the practice. If — even against their wishes — their offspring choose to do the same thing, they lack standing to oppose it.

In my mind, qualifications matter more than gender. If two people vie for the same job and the man is better qualified than the woman, so be it. Sadly, in many instances such as this, the woman screams gender discrimination. It echoes the affirmative action claims that eventually bit the backside of those who initiated it. To minority disgust, in the end, it worked both ways.

What ever happened to good manners? It’s not a case that mirrors mechanics. The wheel that squeaks the loudest may get the grease, but the woman who screeches the loudest should not necessarily get her way.

I have been an adult woman long enough to recognize obnoxious, irreverent women who think that unruly behavior wins the game. Of all the bosses for whom I have worked, the very worst have been women. They shove their way around like a bovine in a gift shop. And, if at your own peril, you happen to be a woman under their purview, woe be it to you.

It’s high time that every segment of society decries the feminists who claim to speak for all American women. They do not. But, if countered, they make enough noise to stifle any opposition. Those who go up against them are not only called nasty names but also intimidated emotionally and physically. The disgrace is that the media showcases them. How incredibly sad….

How juvenile. Take a lesson from the lyrics of an old song. “I want a girl just like the girl that married dear old Dad.” In those words a young man yearns for the devotion and love of his mother and expresses sincere affection for his father. The worth of a stable, loving home is priceless.

Feminists continue to scream for respect as nauseum. Well, where is their respect for men?

Antagonism feeds upon itself. Don’t doom another generation of children to the mish mosh spewed out by these women. Men do count. Men are important. Men are valuable. Men are integral to the family. In fact, they do possess abilities. Their genetic makeup is disparate from that of women.

Women should work for rights, but they should do it with dignity. There is nothing more important than respect between and among people. Gender is not exempt from this quantifier. In this case, it is central.

Americans need to get their act together and urge these so called feminists to put forward an image worthy of every American woman: talented, capable, devoted, dependable, dedicated, motivated, respectful and loving. This whole situation is on overload. Think about it.

259 “New Year, New Theme”

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 259

“A New Year, Hopefully a New Theme”

January 1, 2019

Every year many people around the world look to that hallmark day when one single day heralds in a new year. Here we are again. My wish is that a new theme takes hold in our nation — a theme that carries forward across city boundaries, county lines, state lines and thrusts itself into Washington, D.C.

It’s a theme seldom seen unless a threat is so apparent that nobody can ignore it. Well, there has been just such a threat for nearly two years. If I can see it, I am not alone.

I remember Inauguration Day of 2008. I sat in a rocking chair, holding a baby belonging to friends who had come north to snowmobile here in Michigan’s UP. I prayed that the person taking the oath, though I had not voted for him, would bring with him ideas and programs that would usher in a better life for Americans as a whole. Well, that didn’t work out too well. That administration initiated government-sponsored health care. Anytime you want a business to run well, keep the government out of it.

Let’s just take the Postal Service as a prime example. When I grew up (yes, that was a few decades ago), mail was postmarked in the post office and sent out for delivery. Well, those days are gone. Mail from our small town in Indiana is bagged up and sent to Indianapolis for sorting. Then local mail comes back and is sorted and either placed in a box or given to the carrier. Just how much fuel and labor is involved to do this is anyone’s guess; but the practice is not specific to our small town. It is everywhere.

Efficiency is not the byword of government. Instead, layer upon layer of bureaucracy slows and even stalls what could be a speedy job. Private businesses constantly seek ways to save money. Can we say that about the government? Hardly.

It’s a shame, really. Our Founding Fathers envisioned a government of people who would leave their jobs to serve and then return to them leaving things in better shape than they found them.

Do you see much of that today? Yeah, right…. A sticking point with me is the total lack of cooperation with our president. The people elected Donald J. Trump for a reason — they wanted someone out of the Washington circles who could see the forest for the trees… someone who could read a balance sheet… someone who could see a bad contract and say, “No.” Well, the people got their man, but he was hampered from the “get go.”

Not only did he face a hostile opposition who has tried from day one to get rid of him, but he also found himself with Republicans who failed to have his back. Ego is one thing — stupidity is another.

With the Congress entirely in their hands, they let more than one golden opportunity to slip through their fingers. There is no defensible excuse to oppose the leader of your party when important decisions are in your grasp. To that end, we as Americans lost the Border Wall and who knows what else.

Occasionally, someone stood up to defend the president and agree with him; but, to a large extent, they were absent when needed.

Then you combine a “D” for Democrat and the word anger and you get DANGER. I have taught history and government. With that background, I recognize what most of us know as back and forth between the two major political parties; but the situation we see now is far more critical.

It is as if these people are living in a nether world where the focus is solely on opposition and not finding common ground. I fear that common ground, like common sense, is no longer common. It is rare and endangered.

If you have ever sat down and written a letter to your Congressman or Senator, now is the time. I’ve seen better behavior among disagreeable high school students. Not only is the behavior of the Democratic leadership aggravating, but it’s also juvenile. How sad when adults entrusted by constituents with leadership morph into what we witness today.

Sadly, there is no cure for the stupidity that currently runs rampant among elected officials. You recognize them. As if it’s normal to do so, they spew hatred in every breath. Yet they incessantly accuse the president of precisely what they do. It is more than sad; it is perilous.

Today is the first day of what could be a banner year for America. If the men and women in Washington, D. C. put their country ahead of reelection bids, ahead of party identification, ahead of ego, we may have a chance.

Short of that, we are in for a rough ride. To quote an old movie, “You better fasten your seat belts.”

There is no national security without border security. You can bet that every person who opposes the wall sleeps behind locked doors, may have personal security (likely armed), and counts on the police and fire department for protection. This goes double for those in the mainstream media who never give this president a fair shake. They have bodyguards, too.

As hard as I try to stay positive, it is becoming harder with each passing day. I’d like to feel safe, too. I’m sure that goes for most of you.

So, where is the protection for the American people? Without a wall, it does not exist. The wall is one symptom of the awful hatred aimed at our president. Hatred is a monster that eats away at good people. It beckons others to join in on mischief. Elected officials must condemn and abandon it.

And the theme I cited when I began this column? I cannot take credit for the wording. You’ve heard it at rallies nationwide.

America first. Not personal gain, not misplaced loyalty, not party ID, not venomous opposition. America first.

Pray for your beloved country. Pray for America. She needs it.

258 December 7, 2018 “A terrible resolve…”

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 258

December 7, 2018

“A terrible resolve…”

I know that most of my readers expected my annual columns on Veterans’ Day and Thanksgiving. In lieu of those, I held back to write this piece.

Today is the 77th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor. More than a date in history books (which, sadly, is omitted from modern edited texts in our schools — more about this later), it signaled a nation to respond to threat. Yes, the threat was afoot thousands of miles from our West Coast, but it was a threat that prompted President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to declare that, since that unprovoked and deliberate attack, “…a state of war has existed between the United States of America and the Empire of Japan.”

Fences are nonexistent between our two nations today, but those of us who are children of the “greatest generation” remember all too well. The stories didn’t come from the veterans who returned after a bitter and costly conflict. No, those stories came from soft, hushed conservations at kitchen tables across the nation, conversations overheard by those of us tucked into our beds.

Almost to a man, those who fought and watched their comrades die, stayed silent. Accolades are overdue to veterans’ groups who sponsored videos from men and women well into their eighth decade. Among those is a treasured member of my family. His unit landed on the beaches of France on D-Day. He survived. Countless others died.

Even today, oil seeps up from the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor. Those of us who view the Arizona Memorial come away with a profound sense of respect and awe. My experience was perhaps a bit different from those of others. As I stood on the area that extends over the ship, I noticed an elderly couple. Side by side, they each held a wreath. Centered in each was a black and white portrait of a young man. After gently dropping his wreath into the water, he turned to take the second wreath from his wife. Clearly they lost two sons on December 7th. Losses were not ours alone.

Even though the attack exacted a terrible toll on the American Pacific Fleet, the consequences were all too clear in Japan. Instead of glory and victory, one of the Emperor’s most trusted military leaders had a sinking dread, one he only expressed in his personal writings.

Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, who planned the attack on Pearl Harbor would reportedly write in his diary, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.”

Wars exact a terrible price on a population, no matter whether aggressor or attacked. It is a sad commentary that people as a species have not learned the price of war. Those who wage war claim all manner of reasoning, but at the heart of it, greed tops needs. Power and privilege top everything else.

After World War I, “The war to end all wars,” no lesson was learned. As a people, Americans defended our friends and sacrificed mightily in that pursuit. Still today we attempt to spread liberty and freedom around the world; and, even as we see successes here and there, far too many leaders see nothing wrong with holding sway over their suffering, impoverished people. They strut about in uniforms, dispatch enforcers to ensure their “peace.”

We see a lot of this and it is not likely to end. The lure of power is inexhaustible. The push for control is a horrible master. The devil tempts and sways as he has for millennia.

Pearl Harbor underlines the importance of vigilance. Oceans do not protect us. We learned that all too well on 9/11. America does not ensure the spread of freedom by example. For all our good intentions, we need to remember how critical it is to remain on alert.

The armed services no long employ a draft. America’s military is made up of volunteers. They are due our respect. Today as we stop for a moment to remember those who fought and died in World War II, both in the European Theatre of Operations (ETO) and in the Pacific, it should be abundantly clear that we breathe free because others — most of whom were total strangers — sacrificed life and limb for us.

May God bless those who fought and died, their surviving family members, and the untold numbers of American men and women who toiled in the war plants, who volunteered at the USO sites, who cared for the injured, and who buried the dead whose families were fortunate enough to have their bodies returned to American soil.

We are who we are today because of the men and women who fought and won World War II. These people are not dubbed “The Greatest Generation” for nothing. They earned the moniker. They bequeathed our nation’s freedom and liberty to us. Do more than think about it. Thank every man and woman in uniform in person as you encounter him or her.

Remember Pearl Harbor.

257 “VICTIM”

Saturday, September 29th, 2018

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 257

“Victim”

I taught government and history. I loved both subjects, but my love of government rooted in my respect and admiration for the Founding Fathers who, in the wake of a revolution against a tyrannical and inflexible government, sought to form “a more perfect union” (their words).

I based my teaching on The Federalist Papers and The U. S. Constitution.
Although I had a keen appreciation for the Constitution from the time I had Advanced History with Mr. Ray Hinshaw at Shelbyville High School in the 1950s, an appreciation sharpened by Dr. Yu Long Ling of Franklin College. My Constitutional Law professor, Dr. Ling came from Taiwan. His family fled to Taiwan after the Communists took over China. He had been Attorney General of Taiwan and knew the value of freedom.

Dr. Ling had a profound influence on his students. I was privileged to listen to his lectures and I came to love my country even more under his tutelage.

Using this as background, I find it difficult to find words to express my angst and frustration at the happenings of the last two weeks. I remember watching as Justice Clarence Thomas was assailed with an accusation that sullied his name and besmirched the entire process of confirmation of a Supreme Court nominee.

I never expected to see that again. After what was done to Robert Bork, I held to the belief that any future hearings would be ultimately fair and unbiased. I was wrong. Thomas suffered mightily and equated what was done to him as a “high class lynching” (his words).

The whole specter of the Senate hearings sickens me, but there is an underpinning that disturbs me even more because it threatens the very core of American values.

I considered law school for a long time. Then Prosecutor Jim Lisher was a consummate professional and I learned a lot in the two years I volunteered in his office. Ultimately, I chose to teach instead of work as a lawyer. I never regretted the decision, but the background I gained in the prosecutor’s office instilled in me the fervor for the basis of our legal system: a defendant is innocent until proved guilty.

How on earth has it been turned on its head? As I listened to the charges, like many others, I questioned the timing. How was it that Senator Feinstein held this information for weeks before turning it over to the Senate Judicial Committee? Why was it not investigated properly and in good time?

We will never get an answer to those questions, but it does bear witness to the fact that it was declared within days of a final vote for Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Set aside that he is a sitting judge on the second highest court in the land…. Set aside that he has a prep school and Ivy league background…. Consider this.

What if this were your husband, your son, your brother, your nephew, your friend? How would you feel if someone you loved or admired was accused of sexual assault? With no physical evidence, no corroboration of statements made, and a lapse of nearly forty years, how is it that this man has been vilified this way? I can’t help but think that had a case come before his bench with no basis in evidence, it would have been thrown out.

Yet, this man sits before a panel of twenty-one men and women, ten of whom are bent on denying him the Constitutionally backed nomination of the sitting president. He must deny the charges that have wracked havoc on his wife and children as well as his parents. His life’s work is on the line. What if this was someone you love and respect?

This is really a disgraceful situation. When the two newest women justices were nominated, there was no sideshow allied to their hearings. They were voted in along largely party lines, but no orchestrated opposition was launched from the minority party.

As if this were not bad enough, I see a much more dangerous situation brewing below the surface. More dangerous than this? Yes.

Over the last few years I have noticed with alarm the increasing gender-biased advertising and news coverage. There are very few commercials featuring strong male figures. Oh, I’ve seen a few ads with men rearing children alone, but the prevailing theme is women with children and no man present at all. There are ads with women as professionals and most emphasize the fact that they are out there doing it all alone.

A nation’s existence roots in two basic elements: language and faith. Both are under attack in America today. Go to a license branch or a Social Security Office. Language is the key ingredient here. Although I cannot cite precisely how many, forms and paperwork in these venues are printed in many different languages.

My question is, “Why?” If we want our children to learn another language, the best option is to send them to the country of choice where immersion is the key to learning. My paternal grandfather’s family came from France in 1895. Their first task was to learn English. English was their key to success.
No longer. “Inclusion” replaces common sense when it comes to English. There is no better way to divide a population than to lose a common tongue.

Language under attack? You bet it is. And faith? You would need to live under a rock not to see how faith is threatened today. We removed prayer from schools based on the objections of a tiny fraction of the population — by that, I mean the atheists.

It all goes back to the Bible. Even America’s founding. Read the words of the men who wrote our most critical documents. The word “creator” was not used lightly. Were the men perfect? No man is. The only perfect man died on a cross to redeem all our sins.

America was founded on Faith in God, yet the past decades witnessed a disintegration of respect for religion. Those who wish to dismantle our form of government fear a belief in something higher than self. They want to be in charge of our lives. That should worry all of us.

Consider these verses from Ephesians:
“Wives, be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, He Himself being the Savior of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so also the wives ought to be to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that He might present to Himself the church [a]in all her glory, having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.”
I can hear the women’s liberation crowd screaming at these prophetic lines. They are paranoid about taking a back seat to any man. Forget that a strong, loving, fair father in the home is priceless.
I take a meaning from the Bible passage that is more allied to today than yesterday. Just as Jesus is the leader of the church, so, too is the man the leader of his household. It does not mean that the wife has no voice or importance. Quite the opposite. Each marriage partner values the another.
It worries me that today young women are exposed to a society that pushes equality among women, but not between men and women. Guilt should be based on fact. Guilt by accusation is the tactic of a totalitarian government. Try to defend yourself in a socialist or communist country. Good luck. No rule of law. No presumption of innocence. Guilty when charged.

The descriptor “circus” is interesting, although a circus has an element of entertainment. If this is entertainment, I can do without it. The protestations of Hollywood are lost on me. Why should I consider the opinions of people who make their livings pretending to be other people? Celebrity does not equate to anything close to wisdom. Celebrities simply have a platform that arms them with a lot of press. Don’t get me started on the press. That’s a sad enough story on its own.…

As the mother of three grown men, I shudder at the presently uncorroborated charges aimed at Appellate Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Without any facts, the charges tarnish any accusation backed by corroborative evidence. Sadly, they threaten to imperil victims who wait for justice.

It may be a rehash of the disgusting, worn, slanted question that has ripped apart many men’s lives over the years. While not applicable to every situation, its impact can ruin an innocent man. The question? “When did you stop beating your wife?” The mere accusation labels him forever. Good grief.

I am sickened to see all men being blamed for the crimes of a few. Reflecting on the current hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, realize what the word victim can mean given the current climate.

Vicious
Incessant
Compulsion
To
Indict
Men

Think about it.

255 “De ja WHEW!”

Monday, September 17th, 2018

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 255

September 17, 2018

“Deja WHEW!”

Let’s see, this is 2018. That means that 1938 was 80 years ago. In terms of history, 1938 saw a world that would change dramatically with the rising of The Third Reich and its leader, Adolf Hitler. The population of the United States was 129.82. (As of September 1, 2018, it stands as 328.48 million.)
The workforce was more “hands on” than “eyes on” (as in computer screens and cell phones, that is). People worked for a living and they worked hard.

Social issues of the day were understandable given that the recent Great Depression severely affected Americans coast to coast. Memories were fresh and the people desperately tried to rebuild the life they considered normal before “The Crash.” Rebuilding lives was the priority of the first order in1938.

Man can do wonderful things. Man can invent devices to make life easier, devise transportation modes to move us from place to place in comfort and with ever-greater speeds. Man can literally move mountains. No fantasy either…. Our determined forebears cut through The Cumberland Gap and open a way west. To be frank, it is unlikely that many of the major projects undertaken more than a hundred years ago could have been accomplished lately, given the government stranglehold on inventiveness and the business community instituted in the not-so-distant past. Thank goodness the current administration moved quickly to eliminate burdensome regulations, loosing industry to once again regain our firm foothold in the world economy.

With that background, let’s just take a look at what man cannot do. Man cannot affect or control the weather to any measurable degree. Oh, there are instances of cloud seeding; but aside from that, man remains at the mercy of a notable lady, Mother Nature. Not a new phenomena, either….

This was certainly the case in 1938, again eighty years ago. For many of us, the name Katherine Hepburn is instantly known. Linked with fellow actor and noted co-star Spencer Tracy, she played very challenging movie roles and made a lasting impact on moviegoers. The younger set would be wise to do a little research on this remarkable woman who swam in the Atlantic Ocean until she was well into her eighth decade. Sturdy New England stock is a mild way to describe her. Her life was colorful and unconventional for the time, but she was her own woman long before the onslaught of women’s liberation.
Let’s take a look at the shocking weather that battered New England 80 years ago. (Note the timing correlation to this year.)

The Smithsonian Institution:

A storm formed in the eastern Atlantic near the Cape Verde Islands on September 4, 1938, and headed west. After 12 days, before it could reach the Bahamas, it turned northward, skimming the East Coast of the United States and picking up energy from the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. On September 21, it crashed into Long Island and continued its way north at a speed of 60 miles per hour, with the eye of the storm passing over New Haven, Connecticut. It didn’t dissipate until it reached Canada.

The winds were strong enough that modern scientists place the storm in Category 3 of the Saffir-Simpson Scale. The Blue Hill Observatory outside Boston measured sustained winds of 121 miles per hour and gusts as strong as 186 miles per hour. The winds blew down power lines, trees and crops and blew roofs off houses. Some downed power lines set off fires in Connecticut.
But it was the storm surge that caused the most damage. The storm came ashore at the time of the high tide, which added to the surge of water being pushed ahead by the hurricane. The water rose 14 to 18 feet along much of the Connecticut coast, and 18 to 25 feet from New London, Connecticut to Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Seaside homes all along Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island were submerged under 12 to 15 feet of water, and Providence, Rhode Island was inundated with 20 feet. Whole communities were swept out to sea.
One of the homes that washed away was Katharine Hepburn’s beach house in Old Saybrook, Connecticut.
Heed Hepburn’s description.
“It was something devastating—and unreal—like the beginning of the world—or the end of it—and I slogged or sloshed, crawled through ditches and hung on to keep going somehow—got drenched and bruised and scratched—completely bedraggled—finally got to where there was a working phone and called Dad. The minute he heard my voice he said, ‘how’s your mother?’—And I said—I mean I shouted—the storm was screaming so—’She’s all right. All right, Dad! But listen, the house—it’s gone—blown away into the sea!’ And he said, ‘I don’t suppose you had the brains enough to through a match into it before it went, did you? It’s insured against fire, but not against blowing away!— and how are you?’”
You can do a little web surfing and come up with a picture of Hepburn sitting in a bathtub among the scattered remnants strewn across the ravished lawn of Fenwick, her family home swept away by the storm. She had quite a sense of humor. She rebuilt the home and lived in it until her death at the age of 96.
The hurricane, one of the most destructive to ever hit New England, was followed by massive river flooding as the water dumped by the storm—10 to 17 inches fell on the Connecticut River basin—returned to the sea. By the time the devastation was over, 564 people were dead and more than 1,700 injured, 8,900 homes were completely gone as were 2,600 boats. Trees and buildings damaged by the storm could still be seen by the 1950s.
In the days and weeks following the storm, the federal government sent thousands of men from the Works Progress Administration to assist with the search for survivors and the huge effort to clear away the destruction. And in all the news coverage I read, there was no mention of climate change or the specter of global warming.
Remember please that 1980 saw those same people warning of a “coming ice age.” When that didn’t work, they morphed the message into global warming and the race was on — what race? — the race for those leading the charge (poor word considering the massive amounts of money they earn by peddling this garbage).
Turn back the clock three years. What about 1935? It saw another powerful storm. The Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 was so powerful that it sand-blasted clothing off of people who got caught in its vicious winds, destroyed nearly every structure in the Upper Keys and killed about 500 victims. The Florida Sun-Sentinel newspaper describes it.
“People were picked up and thrown around like rag dolls,” said Brad Bertelli, curator of the Keys History & Discovery Center in Islamorada. “Bodies were blown all the way across Florida Bay to Cape Sable.”
This was the most intense Category 5 system ever to strike the U.S. coastline. It was stronger than Hurricane Camille, which clobbered Mississippi in August 1969, as well as Hurricane Andrew, which devastated south Miami-Dade County in August 1992 – both being the only other Category 5 storms in recorded history to hit the United States.
When it barreled across the Upper Keys on September 2, 1935, the Labor Day hurricane was packing sustained winds of 185 mph, the same destructive power as an EF4 tornado.
“It was tightly wound, like Andrew, with a swath of destruction about 40 miles wide,” Bertelli said. “Most of the damage was between Tavernier and Duck Key.” The system produced a storm surge of 18 to 20 feet above sea level, knocking down trees and buildings on Matecumbe, Islamorada and other nearby Keys. It also destroyed Henry Flagler’s railroad, which connected Key West to the mainland.
“That was the last day Henry Flagler’s train made the trip from Miami to
Key West,” Bertelli said. Many of the victims drowned when they were
swept by towering waves into either the Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic.
Among those who perished were 259 World War I veterans, who had
been building the Overseas Highway and were living in federal
rehabilitation camps.
A train had been dispatched to rescue them from the storm, but it arrived too late and was swept off its tracks by the storm surge. Of some consolation, Bertelli said, “none of the people on the train died.”
At the time, only about 600 to 700 people were living in the Upper Keys or the death toll would have been much higher, he said.
After roaring through the Keys, the hurricane curved north, paralleled Florida’s west coast and made a second landfall near Cedar Key as a Category 2 hurricane on Sept. 4.
At the time, only about 600 to 700 people were living in the Upper Keys or the death toll would have been much higher, he said. After roaring through the Keys, the hurricane curved north, paralleled Florida’s west coast and made a second landfall near Cedar Key as a Category 2 hurricane on Sept. 4.
In the immediate aftermath of the storm, legendary author Ernest Hemingway traveled to the Keys to help with the recovery. He ended up writing an angry article entitled, “Who Killed the Vets?” for New Masses magazine.
In a letter to his editor, Max Perkins, Hemingway wrote, “We made five trips with provisions for survivors to different places but nothing but dead men to eat the grub.”
While it took years for the Keys to fully recover, residents started rebuilding almost immediately, and some area schools reopened in 1936, Bertelli said.
“Residents of that area were a hardy bunch,” he said.
The storm highlighted the need to evacuate the Keys well in advance of a threatening storm, because the two-lane highway – the only way in and out of the island chain – easily jams. A year after the hurricane, the 17-foot-tall Florida Keys Memorial was built on Upper Matecumbe Key in memory of the storm victims.
Don’t be taken in by the hype of elites who travel about in fuel-guzzling private jets telling you that you need to drive an electric car and adjust your lifestyle in bizarre ways.
I doubt if anyone in 1906, 1935 and 1938 attributed all the storm damage and loss of life to anything but the weather. I often joke with friends and say that the word needs a little adjusting. It should be “whether!”
Keep those in North and South Carolina in your prayers. They are at the mercy of Mother Nature and she is less than kind when handing out major storms. There will be fatalities, but no numbers rivaling those of past years. Modern forecasting, “hurricane hunter” planes and widespread access to weather reports coupled with ample warnings saves more lives than we can imagine. Yet, earth rules when it comes to catastrophes.
All it takes is for one major volcano to erupt violently and the weather around the planet could take a downturn that would be the projection that the global warming nuts seek to blame on the internal combustion engine and industry. Let’s hope Mount Rainier and Yellowstone stay quiet for centuries. We live in a world with a fiery core spawning volcanoes that could spell the end of the life as we know it.
Back to hurricanes….
Deja Few? Yes. Thankfully, hurricanes are few. It’s just that when hurricanes strike, damage lasts for decades..

Please consider one fact. Weather is cyclical. Otherwise no explanation exists for the icy cold that gripped Europe and North America — a cold that blanketed Europe in smoke. Why? People were freezing, desperate. They cut down every available tree to heat their homes. According to Resources.org “The Little Ice Age” spanned from about 1300 to 1870 during which Europe and North America were subjected to much colder winters than during the 20th century. The period can be divided in two phases, the first beginning around 1300 and continuing until the late 1400s.
So, we haven’t seen a cold wave or anything like this since just after the Civil War. Will it happen again? Who knows? Other than being prepared for anything, there is nothing we can do.
And as for storms such as Florence, she won’t be the last. She may not be the worst. Even one life is too much to lose, but compare the current fatalities to those at a time when warnings were all but nonexistent and you will realize how much we owe contemporary meteorologists. And as for those in the path of these storms? They evacuate or ride the storms out. Grim as they are, these are their own two choices.
Really…. Don’t blame man. Man is, and always has been, at the mercy of the weather.
Think about it.

254 – “Repeated”

Monday, August 27th, 2018

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 254 “History repeated?”

August 27, 2018

Sometimes I feel as if I’ve “heard it all,” so to speak. Then I listen to the latest in what has all the hallmarks of a poor B movie. Anger and envy has no bounds. Add to that the loss of what some believed to be a foregone conclusion in the 2016 presidential election and the scene is set for far more than better luck next time. We have what has morphed into more than what our president calls a “witch hunt.” We have all the hallmarks of a contest that is legend in the Bible.

The characters here are not one on one. Far from it….. They are one against many. Years ago when I taught at the college level I was a solitary figure among liberal faculty. I had sat on the opposite side of their desks for years as an adult undergraduate student, but my upbringing and maturity insulated me from pointed comments and socialist spin that had a far greater effect on the young people who were my classmates.

I really wanted to attain the next level above and secure a job at the college, but that was not to be. Looking back, it’s probably just as well; but that’s another story altogether.

Considering the ongoing current events, I recalled a statement that I often made to my students. I explained that, as voters, they had reason to question anyone in public office. After all, once out on their own, my students needed to understand that they were — in fact and in truth — those public servants’ employers. We don’t consider that often enough, do we? Oh, enthusiasm spikes at election time, but for most of us, the heightened interest ends at the voting booth.

I’ve seen those whom I wanted in office lose contests before, but the results didn’t determine my actions for months and years to come. Not so for the Democratic Party and its loss in 2016.

The decision to nominate Jeff Sessions for Attorney General may have rooted in his Senate experience and the fact that he was an early supporter of Trump. Trump’s firm belief in the “swamp” among the D.C. politicians was far more accurate that he could have imagined. Had he appointed a man or woman without campaign ties we would witness a starkly different situation today.

The crux of today’s bleak picture comes down to the fact that for the last fifty or sixty years our top elected officials had no business background. Oh, there are scads of lawyers and a smattering of other professions represented in the Congress, but people with deep business credentials were sorely lacking. What we have now is the fruits of that mix of people.

What was to have been a Social Security nest egg was cracked and scrambled into the “general fund” long ago. Lobbyists are a rich resource for information needed to assess pending or proposed legislation. After all, no elected official can be expected to be knowledgeable on every subject out there. Unfortunately, the core value of lobbyists blurred into a money-driven system of favors that exponentially wrecked objectivity among legislators.

When Donald J. Trump won the 2016 election, the cookie jar shook in terror. It’s lid — long off — was about to slam shut. Anyone who has owned or managed a business, met payroll, faced downturns in the economy, and struggled against regulations knows that you cannot operate at a loss. Yet, we not only operate at a loss, if we (the United States) were a business, we are way beyond bankruptcy. We are insolvent.

Everybody runs on about the “national debt,” and that is important. But that figure pales when compared to the unfunded liabilities this nation will face in the future. Couple that with the dumbing down of education, and we have a recipe for disaster. That is, if we don’t get our house in order.

Enter a man who knows how to manage a bottom line, who understands the value of law enforcement, who recognizes that no nation exists without a strong border, and who doesn’t owe any large donors a dime. The elites now face someone without fear. They face someone who puts the country first. They face exposure of inaction.

Interjecting a bit on sports, the NFL Commissioner should issue a firm rule. “You don’t stand? You don’t play.” They will scream like smashed cats for a while, but if they want to make all that money they can either stand for the national anthem and play or walk out. I doubt if their shoes will hit the pavement. There are, among the NFL players, men who return to the inner cities to help young people. Their actions speak volumes and make the disrespectful display of kneeling during “The Star Spangled Banner” look juvenile and foolish.

Inequality? Does it exist? Certainly it does, but that has been true throughout history. Inequality won’t evaporate because grown men refuse to respect the flag that guarantees freedom. If they want to move for change, then they need to take their actions to the neighborhoods desperate for male role models. Kneeling does nothing to assuage inequality.

President Trump knows inequality exists. He stood before inner city audiences and asked, “What do you have to lose?” Assessment of his popularity among minority communities continues to soar. If you take a critical look at the most impoverished and crime-ridden areas of the country, you will find — by and large — people who have lived under Democratic rule for decades. Promised progress and change with every election, they voted in hopes of attaining just that. But they only saw more of the same.

Patriotism is the heart of America. In the 1800s boys as young as twelve had to take over families when parents died. In the early 1900s children worked in factories, on ranches and farms, and ran errands in large cities to help support their families. When wars came, teenage boys lined up to volunteer to defend America.

Those boys were made of strong stuff. They knew how to work — and work hard — from an early age. I shudder to think what would what would happen if we required that kind of response today. What was commonplace for youngsters of my grandparents’ and parents’ generations is rare. That goes for my generation, too. In my mid-70s, I began to work at age 12. I’ve never been afraid of hard work and I’ve done jobs that a woman never should have attempted.

The link from this subject to the situation faced by the Trump family is not obscure. President Trump’s father took him out of the construction sites when he was very young. He learned to run heavy equipment and witnessed the day-to-day work it took to construct buildings. He continued this with his own children. They know how to work and maintain respect from their employees. Now Trump turns his considerable energies to rescuing this nation from decades of mismanagement.

This column’s title does not portend that we are bound to repeat history. Oh, no, it has a far different meaning from that.

This president unabashedly thanks God for this nation and asks that Americans pray for His blessing. Bite by bite, in nearly all media, we see faith labeled as a weakness. Christianity is under attack from all sides. Even the Amish are not immune. Ads now tout a new series that features these modest communities as drug dealers. Egad! Is there no shame among producers today? Evidently not….

Christianity and Judaism underwent a reformation. Both groups benefited from the adjustments. We are urged to be tolerant of Islam, yet it is the only one of three great religions of the world not to have undergone a reformation. When President Trump extols faith, the media attack him viciously. Despite the fact that he fulfills more campaign promises than anyone in memory, he is the scapegoat for all manner of ills.

Since Democrats cannot counter him on facts, they attack him personally. They attack his wife, his adult children, his friends, and now they use the Southern District of New York to target his business. They salivate at the prospect of finding some way to get rid of him.

Many swamp dwellers have little in common with the workingmen and women of America. Trump does. Democrats scream, “resist.” They squawk, “impeachment.” They are but the tip of the iceberg of the establishment that now faces a man they cannot control.

An uninformed, misinformed public is easily controlled. Liberals laid the groundwork for just this scenario and have nurtured it for decades. They have dumbed down education and polluted our youth with their pie in the sky descriptions of socialism. They have decimated humor. Political correctness emasculated men and robbed us of the joys of laughing at ourselves and others. Oh, yes, they did a good job. But, thankfully, the job isn’t finished. Why?

All of a sudden, the plan fails. All of a sudden emerges a man who threatens what they view as their destiny — total control. The word surprise doesn’t begin to describe their rabid reaction. They are frantic and it’s getting worse. Nothing is too despicable for them.

And the history I cited in the title? With a slight change of name, it is not David. It’s Donald. Donald and the opposition that seeks to destroy all he holds dear. Donald and the bloated, out of control government – the haughty behemoth throwing its dark shadow over the nation and looming as an existential threat.

It’s not a new story. But it has different characters. It’s not David, but Donald. It’s not a giant human. It’s a giant government.

Donald and Goliath. Let’s hope we get the same result. Donald wins. Think about it.

253 – Taming of The Not So Few

Monday, July 23rd, 2018

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

# 253

July 23, 2018

“Taming Of The Not So Few…”

Begging pardon from the bard (a/k/a William Shakespeare), I see a current movement beginning to lure in America’s impressionable youth with promises of something for (literally) nothing.

We are fortunate to have someone in the White House who owes nothing to lobbyists, wealthy donors, Wall Street or the Business Round Table. Well, as Dana Carvey’s character (The Church Lady) would have said, “Well, isn’t THAT special?” Yes, indeed it is, and more so than most people know.

Talk about David and Goliath…. It’s what we see today, and you should be scared of its consequences.

A “Ditto Head,” a Rush Limbaugh listener since the 1980s, I am proudly claim the moniker of a continual and dedicated student of the Limbaugh Institute for Conservative Studies. Boiling down what seems to most as an ugly stew of “news,” Rush brings not only wisdom, but also brevity, to complex situations. Using his experience as a consummate student of our storied and exemplary history, Rush gives his audience a clear view of current events and changes in American society as a whole.

Looking back over recent presidential elections, I note a distinct change in media coverage. News should be facts. Anchors, reporters and columnists should inform the public of the facts and let the public come to a conclusion. Not so today. What once was factual news has morphed into commentary. Facts have been eclipsed by “feelings.” Try defending feelings in court.

What this does is disenfranchise every American of his or her ability to judge a situation for itself. Critical thinking is nearly extinct. Unlike the dinosaurs, it cannot be resurrected as entertainment.

A continual liberal push insinuates that Donald Trump and his staff colluded (not a crime incidentally, according to Alan Derschowitz) with Russia to interfere with the 2016 presidential election and propel the GOP to victory.

Where were critics when Obama and his cohorts meddled with Israeli elections? Widely known, it was tolerated and not exposed for what it was. Why? Well, Democrats rarely defend Israel. Instead, they take the side of the Palestinians (thugs as they are) and refuse to support our greatest ally in the Middle East. How many times have you heard a Democrat come to the defense of Netanyahu?

It is not new that countries attempt to subvert the political process of an adversary in order to gain ground. This has gone on since Biblical times. To spout all the current garbage as if this is the first time in history that the United States has tried to undermine a despotic or abusive government in order to spread freedom is ludicrous. It is standard operating procedure for intelligence agencies around the world.

Do we do it as a nation? You bet we do, and it is routine. Business as usual, as it were. Have the Russians adopted this as a new tactic? That’s laughable. Russia interjects itself here in America, not only in elections, but also in other ways that continue to go unnoticed by the general public.

If you doubt that this is the first time that Russia has tried to spread its disruptive influence the United States, just consider these examples. The first focuses on fiction, spawned by real life.

Richard Carlson starred in a popular TV series that aired from 1953 to 1956. I was only 9 when it began, but I remember it well. “I Led Three Lives” recounted real life. Citizen, Communist, Counterspy is its base. The book is Herbert Philbrick’s classic memoir of his life in espionage.

Once a Boston-area advertising executive, Philbrick accepted the FBI’s overture to infiltrate the Communist Party in the United States. What’s more, Carlson portrayed the spy with his actual name, Herbert Philbrick. Grounded in truth, that series — sixty years ago — exposed what we have witnessed in the United States over the last few decades.

Sometimes, truth is really stranger than fiction.

Viewers were privy to the challenges Philbrick faced maintaining those same three distinct identities — counterspy, citizen and Communist. Awash with intrigue, it kept its audience on the edge of their seats for three full years. It is interesting that the series premiered only a few years after Senator Joseph McCarthy initiated his famous hearings in Washington, D.C. How did they come about?

At a speech in Wheeling, West Virginia, on February 9, 1950, McCarthy proclaimed that he was aware of 205 card-carrying members of the Communist Party who worked for the United States Department of State. This speech set off an era of paranoia and accusation and propelled McCarthy into the national spotlight. (ushistory.org) But, those hearings are another story….

Communism is not new. It is an old, and crippling ideology dating to the 1890s in which only the elite exert power and hold resources while the populace at large is left with a life robbed of freedom, ambition, or dreams of personal success.

In the words of Karl Marx, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.” So, if you work, you do not reap the rewards of your labor. Instead, your effort and largess go to someone who “needs” it more than you do. So much for the work ethic….

Socialism is one step down, but on the fast track to Communism. To this date 42 candidates for office at the local, state and federal level are endorsed by the American Socialist Party. These elected “wanna bes” stand on the shoulders of others among us. You see, purveyors of Communism remain alive and well and dwell among us — happily tenured among the faculties of institutions of higher learning from coast to coast. Now their “blatherings” have earned a platform that endangers us all.

Oh, they are the classic “snake oil salesmen (or women, if you are into the gender specific language) of the day. They promise free tuition to public universities, free Medicare for all, etc. They promise….

Sounds good to someone educated to believe that America stands at fault for other countries’ poor living conditions. America at fault? Oh, yes. Untold numbers of our young people have little or no respect for America. Never mind that millions of our men and women sacrificed their lives to free people around the world. Those bits of history are viewed inconvenient to them.

Never mind that America stands as the bastion of freedom for the world. Never mind that in the midst of any major natural disaster, Americans are first to respond. Never mind America’s history of hard work and innovation. Never mind the truth….

And if you think that the influence stops with academia, you need to think again. From their inception in the 1920s, unique men produced Hollywood movies. Studio moguls, to a man, were either immigrants or children of immigrants. These men knew the value of freedom and used their films to further the message of Americans as heroes… of faith as the anchor to life… the rewards of hard work… the value of compassion and sharing… of America as the best place on earth….

Once these men were dead and gone, it didn’t take long until studio ownership fell to people with an agenda. Suddenly, gratuitous violence replaced implied violence. Blood and gore became the order of the day. As a result, children were desensitized to violence in its harshest form. Cheating, glorified, disappeared as “wrong,” and became just another way to get ahead.

Remember when the James Bond films had maniacal foreigners as adversaries? Remember when power-seeking bad guys tried to take over the world? Remember how England’s “007” foiled their plans? Remember those movies? Well, consider the recent Bond plots….

Now, the villain genre is capitalism. Business is evil. Any idea how that has warped the wordsmith’s intent? Ian’s Fleming’s James Bond character actually roots in a proficient spy working for Winston Churchill. That man was F.F.E. ‘Tommy’ Yeo-Thomas GC, codenamed “The White Rabbit.” Think that Churchill could have been lured or persuaded by Communism? Hardly.

Yet, subtleties of the films extend the Communist reach to one more area: entertainment. They inch their way into the corporate psyche. Now, we have education and entertainment linked in what I consider a perverted effort to undermine America as my generation knows it. And what defines my America? As Clark Kent would say, “Truth, Justice and the American Way.”

Our great-grandparents’ generation fought the Civil War. Our grandparent’s generation fought World War I — The War to end all wars! Our parents’ peers fought World War II and Korea. My generation fought Viet Nam. Current military stationed worldwide stand ready to defend each of us — to a person — including all those hell-bent on spreading Socialism in America today.

Who are the wealthy entertainers who push to take away our guns? How about taking guns from their bodyguards? And those who try to push electric cars with limited range? Owners of private jets that consume huge amounts of fuel.

Carbon footprint? You bet. But that is not the only dirt left in their wake. An old adage claims “the wages of sin are death.” Well, the wages of socialism and communism are enslavement and despair.

Double standard? Yeah, but what else can we expect? Nothing is more important to the would-be socialists than political success. These people are persistent, but thankfully they are few. It is up to each of us to counter their false messages and prevent them from gaining a firm foothold among the voting public.

As we approach the 2018 mid-term elections, be mindful of why America remains the envy of the world. We are free. We value truth. We defend our friends and prove to be very dangerous to our enemies.

This president stands up for America. This president leads through strength. Only this president’s resolve and our military stand between us and peril. This must prevail. Donald Trump faces the few. They are determined to destroy him. Who are his defenders? We are!

Can the few be tamed? Ah, yes. But only with effort. Our goal is “The Taming of the Few.” Are you up to it? Think about it.

252 “A sad truth…”

Friday, July 6th, 2018

IN DEFENSE OF COMMON SENSE
By Hetty Gray

#252

July 6, 2018

It is with angst that I space my columns out over time. Often, my spark dims with the current news. I feel as if I am living in “The Twilight Zone,” but Rod Serling is nowhere to be found.

I revel in national holidays. Celebrating America is first on my list, so when I view someone climbing the pedestal of The Statue of Liberty — sparking a response by National Park Service personnel (at their own peril), I am a loss for words. What this woman did was rob countless men, women and children from visiting one of our most iconic sites on the 4th of July. Good timing with her mindset, absurd from those of us who love our country.

My faith sustains me, and not in a small way, as I reflect on the happenings that continue to grow in the United States. The very freedoms that set us apart from the rest of the world are used in ways that defy reason.

It is not simply a case of glass half full or half empty, either. Freedom of speech is sacrosanct for us. Our military defends the rights of the most misled and uninformed to say what they will. Aside from screaming “Fire!” in a crowded theater, these folks and their warped ideals try the collective patience of our people.

Perhaps just as worrisome as watching the officers pluck the aforementioned woman from a fragile (yes, the copper is thin and subject to damage) statue was a series of interviews with young people asked if they were proud to be an American.

Had that question been asked when I was a young person (granted, that was a half century ago), a negative reply would have been unthinkable. Ah, yes, the systematic mantra of leftist teachers and textbooks has done its job. We now have untold numbers of our young people who have no appreciation for American exceptionalism or of the history of our people.

I made it a point to give my students a little advice as I taught both in high school and college. I emphasized that history is not a litany of names, dates and places. History stands as a series of warning signs for us.

If we do not heed history, we risk repeating it. No nation is faultless. Human, we remain, one and all. When I was a young person, there were subtle differences between the two major political parties. However, few people questioned love of country. The Democratic Party did stand more for the working population than the Republican Party. Today, tables have turned. We now see a Democratic Party that triumphs entitlement options, illegal immigration (yes, illegal), and gender identification.

Please. You are born with certain parts. They define gender. Choice may be legitimate in the drive-through lane, but not in the delivery room. The proverbial pendulum has swung so far askew that it defies explanation.

Socialism sounds wonderful. Everybody is equal. It harkens back to Orwell’s thesis that “all animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

That we have a growing segment of our young people considering Socialism a positive lifestyle is not only scary, it is extremely dangerous. If elites can convince them that government control bests individual freedom of choice in the workplace, we are in for a very rough ride. America was built on the blood, sweat and tears of forebears who didn’t expect a free ride. They made their own way and what a way they bestowed on us!

Control, for those who push socialism, is far easier if their audience is blind to the horrible effects socialism can have. For a contemporary example, look no further than Venezuela! What a sad state of affairs that is!

Consider the current happenings in San Francisco, a beautiful city founded as a major port of working people, a city that endeared itself to Americans with its stunning vistas and cable cars.

Today, the “city by the bay” loses major conventions because of the homeless, opioid community and the violence that plagues its streets. Some workers even pay to ride to work less than a block of two from their homes. It is really that bad.

Throw in the “sanctuary city” status coupled with tolerance for criminals to roam the streets and you have a toxic mix. And what of leadership? The holier than thou politicians who spout how they “care” about the poor — in fact — do little to remedy the situation. Where do they live? How do they travel? Security? You bet. Yet, they clamor to disarm the general population. Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.

The would-be car jacker who encountered an armed mom as he tried to flee a gas station with her two small children in her car learned the hard way. Licensed to carry, she reached into the console and shot him in the face. He stopped yards away. Hers is the face of self-defense. She is a hero.

Violence seems to the order of the day when the minority party moves ever closer to November, and not just the venomous words they hurl with abandon. A California Congresswoman repeatedly calls for attacks against anyone who works closely with or lends support to our president. Where on earth is putting country before self? Where is the common root of America — patriotism? It is not dead, but it is in peril.

To my chagrin, the beauty of American federal government that I explained to my students has morphed into a puzzle that seems to have no solution. It’s a game of “us against them.” Sad? Yes, but more than sad, it’s very dangerous.

Certain ingredients define a country. Four are critical: One: Secure, defined borders — without borders, there IS no country. Two: Law — without rule of law, there is no order or safety for the people. Three: Language, without a common tongue, the country lacks the glue that holds it together. (Remember, worldwide, all airline pilots speak English.) Four: Military strength — without a strong military, the country is at high risk.

We now witness the fraying of the first three with the full support of the Democratic Party. This should scare the socks off each one of us. If, as some critics claim, Democrats that oppose enforcing current laws governing immigration harbor an underlying motive — an influx in high numbers of new voters dependent upon the government programs of which they are so fond, then they are beneath contempt. If a strong country is a healthy country, how is America today?

When you add in the specter of leadership that scorns those of us who believe in God and view faith as a weakness, you compound the problem with a fatal flaw that could doom the American dream.

Misled and uninformed youth will follow the lead of a “pied piper.” The old slogan of hippies “Never true anyone over forty” needs updating. Those who protested and cursed their parents and grandparents now serve in positions of leadership. Scary? You bet it is. So long as our schools and universities continue to allow teachers to rail against America and turn out graduates with no respect for country, the risk to each of us grows exponentially.

If you seek a real challenge, try to convince a young person who has become an “America hater” that he or she is wrong. Good luck. In an ironic twist, it reminds me of how shocked I was to see small Chinese children taught to kill Americans or Palestinian children taught that all Israelis are pigs to slaughter.
Seeds planted with purpose can bring forth a bitter harvest.

It is not a problem easily solved or in short order. The first step will be the hardest, reforming education to be just that — not indoctrination. Teaching should root in facts, not feelings. Teaching should extol patriotism, not alienation. And God should not be off limits in any school setting.

Armed with visceral hatred for any modicum of control, these progeny of the ’60s generation place law enforcement in their crosshairs and systematically instill attitudes to dispirit and enrage their followers — often with deadly consequences. When respect for authority dies, so does a society.

Is it hopeless? No. I remain confident that if enough Americans stand for what is right and move against the ranting and raving of the left, we can turn this around.

Watch and listen to the messages before the coming mid-term elections. The left will concentrate on hate and fear, labeling the GOP as “phobes” of every kind. Winning at any cost is at the heart of their campaigning and the possibility that work will win out over welfare and that the economy will thrive fuels their insatiable quest for power.

I applaud the efforts of the Trump administration to revive American pride and praise the exceptionalism admired worldwide. You don’t see people surging to immigrate (legally or illegally) to socialism countries. There is a good reason for it. Socialism does not work.

Today, politicians of the ilk of Bernie Sanders, praise Socialism as the “end all, be all” of life. It’s far from it. Socialism stifles entrepreneurship, dampens ambition, and collapses the stable order of society.

Free education, guaranteed housing, everybody has a job…. It may sound good, but there is not one instance of it having worked — anywhere, ever!
Border security also needs to stop the flow of drugs into this country. We are losing young people to drugs at an alarming rate — those among us who should have the burning desire to succeed.

There is no better way to weaken this country than to cripple a large segment of its youth. So far, the cartels are doing a bang up job. Evidently, they have the cover of very powerful forces. Someone, somewhere, is making what (to omit a perfect term) a ____ load of money off the drug trade. The question is just who are they?

So, where are we? We are at a crossroads. I refuse to give up on America. We all need to pray that things turn around and America regains her treasured, strong relationship with her people — true to its motto, E Pluribus Unum. One of many, one….

In truth, I cannot imagine what our Founding Fathers would think of today’s state of affairs. They were men in their 30s. Together, after much discussion and prayer (Yes, prayer!), they crafted documents that would forge a government that positioned America as the beacon for the world — a government truly of, by and for the people. I believe that America is that “shining city on a hill” that President Reagan described.

The Founders would never understand the mindset of many young people today. My question is just what kind of young people are we turning out today? Critical to our survival is the answer. Think about it.